Paperbark Maple

Image of Acer griseum
Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
This tree is known for its papery, peeling bark and distinctive orange-red color.
Helen Cai and Karena Zhao
Collected Data
Date of tree entry: 
4.50 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.41 m

There are too many multiple trunks to accurately measure the DBH, so this is just an estimate
The bark is papery and maple, hence leading to the tree's nickname as the "paperbark maple." The bark sheds periodically through the winter and spring months. The color is characteristically red or "cinnamony" year-round.
Twigs & branches
The twigs of the tree display an even brown-red color, and show an alternate branching pattern along the length of larger branches. Younger branches at the upper portions of the tree are lighter than the remainder of the tree. The bark on twigs and branches peels first, before bark on the thicker trunks and limbs.
The leaves are trifoliate, odd branched, and pinnately compound. The venation is pinnate. As a deciduous species, the leaves are lost during the winter and reemerge in springtime.
Reproductive Structures
Flowers are usually produced in the late spring, and produce small, hard fruits that are encased by winged seed pods.
The tree produces small, hard fruits that remain attached to the tree. The flattened wing of fibrous tissue allows the seed to "whirl" over long distances as it falls to the ground. The fruit is elongated and hard to crack, called "samaras", which makes it unappealing to fauna seeking food.
  • Foliage remains bare in the late winter months
The tree is native to China but is often used commercially for landscaping, valued for its distinctive reddish color and shade.
Origin, history, and uses: 

Acer griseum was initially brought to England from central China by E. H. Wilson in 1899.

Other information of interest: 

The “gingerbread” hybrid has been favored among gardeners and landscapers for its fine bark and fast growth rate!

Media and Arts


This is a beautiful tree.